QLD: Leading health researchers gathering on improving patient flow

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Managing patient flow and hospital capacity is a major challenge for many public hospitals in Australia. In partnership with Metro South Hospital and Health Service, the Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association (AHHA) is holding a free event at the Princess Alexandra Hospital to discuss new Australian research on these topics.

AHR Live will showcase three new research papers, published in the AHHA’s academic journal, the Australian Health Review (AHR)It will give clinicians, managers and policymakers an opportunity to discuss research findings with the researchers themselves.

Dr Justin Boyle, from the Australian E-Health Research Centre at CSIRO will present evidence that an Alert protocol embedded as standard practice at a major teaching hospital actually helps arrest rising occupancy within the hospital and addresses overcrowding.

“Achieving a balance between bed access for patients and overcrowding is acknowledged as an increasing worldwide concern. This event provides a platform to learn about interesting research approaches and strategies that work and those that don’t,” said Dr Boyle.

Dr Andy Wong from Queensland University of Technology will present evidence that the use of multiple systems to store patient information is ultimately disadvantaging patient flow in health service delivery.

“This study was conducted in a major teaching hospital in Queensland, where patient information is gathered in separate data management systems. These systems were developed at different times, for different purposes. As a result of this, there is no streamlined process to obtain a clear picture of the patient journey from admittance to discharge. A new technology, originally designed to monitor patient flow in Emergency departments has been expanded across the whole hospital with the idea of creating a map of patient journey to address questions of outcome, safety and efficiency on a hospital-wide scale,” said Dr Wong.

Dr Julia Crilly, Associate Professor of Emergency Care at Griffith University will present on the impact to patients and health services of opening additional emergency beds.

“This research focuses on patients who presented to three EDs by ambulance over a 2 year period. An important aspect of the study was that it involved data linkage of three disparate health information systems to enable a more comprehensive understanding of patient and health service outcomes. Also, being able to identify key predictors of hospital admission for ambulance arriving patients can be helpful to inform patient flow strategies in a strategic manner.”

“Policy needs to be evidence-informed, and AHR Live is the perfect opportunity to connect policymakers, clinicians and researchers to inform policy and practice,” said Alison Verhoeven, AHHA Chief Executive. “For 35 years the AHR has informed health policy in Australia, and AHR Live will be an excellent knowledge exchange forum to continue the conversation.”

For more information and to register, visit http://ahha.asn.au/events/ahr-live-brisbane-edition

The AHHA represents Australia’s largest group of health care providers in public hospitals, community and primary health sectors and advocates for universal high quality healthcare to benefit the whole community

Media Enquiries:

Alison Verhoeven

Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

0403 282 501